Title courtesy of Nzingha’s Soapbox, we both have mad maid drama. After all that drama I went through last year with our maid, you would think I would have learned my lesson. Due to our recent move, we had to transfer our maid to another khafeel (sponsor), in order for us to exit the country. We had expected to have her for 2 years, but only had her for 5 months. We did not mind loosing out on our return, because we were not pleased with her service and was glad to get rid of her. I was completely honest with people who inquired about her working for them, and in the end a desparate friend of mine took her. My baby was one month old when we moved and I was still recovering from his birth and complications I had after it. We had to go to Bahrain to get new work Visas and we came straight back. About 5 minutes after reentering Saudi, I got a message from a friend asking if I needed a maid for 700sr a month. We thought it was perfect timing because my husband was going to be very busy and no help to me getting settled in. We took her and for the first 24 hours I was telling everybody how she was the answer to my prayers. The Indonesian maid who I had just transfered sponsorship to my friend, turned out to be 50 years old, but her papers said 30 something! She was sickly, slow, and had some unsanitary habits (you’ll find people here…not locals but from the 3rd world..doing the unimaginable. Like blowing snot in thier hands, instead of tissue, and flinging it). This new maid, from Sri Lanka, was young (claims she was 18), and came in the house selling me dreams. She told me not to do anything but take care of the baby and let her do everything else. She liked playing with the kids and asked if she could comb the girls hair. She informed me of all the different dishes she knew how to prepare and for a minute I thought that she would work out. I told her that I only needed her for a month to help me settle in and after that I would not need her, but if I was pleased with her I would keep her longer. Well, it turned out she was a compulsive liar and a trouble maker. I let her go. I told myself that I  never wanted another live in maid again and that I prefered cleaning my own house. I did really good too…for a while anyway. Until this long hot summer began.

My children have been out of school for over a month and will not return until the 2nd week of October insha’Allah. Most of the families around here are traveling and the one neighbor that they still play with is moving in a week. I had been trying to keep them busy until the summer activities began. The older kids did not get out of school until 2 weeks after the younger children, then they got a one week break until summer activities start. Until then, the kids and their friends were mostly in and out of the house.

I allowed them to camp out in my living room, after turning down their request for a desert camp out.

Bought a used pc for them, because their old one is still in the shop in the last city we lived in.

Let my daughter make no bake desserts

Let them have a McDonald’s party with 10 of their friends.

Now, I remind you all that I am no spring chicken! I’m the type that gets over anxious when things are not in order, I insist on multi-tasking even though I ALWAYS eventually get overwhelmed and get depressed when said task are not completed, or improperly done and that results in me taking my anger out on EVERYBODY! Well, I tried doing the perfect wifey/mommy thingy and then something happened. I am in a great location for moving sales. My husband and I are both addicted to them (hence the tent and kids computer) and I recently purchased a dryer from a family who moved (see that’s why I thought I didn’t really need a maid anymore since I was no longer hanging the clothes  in the middle of a continuous sand storm ),then I got a great deal on an automactic washer (if you never left America…don’t ask! Semi-auto mactic washers are evil!). So my husband uninstalled the semi and took it outside until housing could pick it up, but when he went to collect the new washer, it could not fit through the bathroom door. The person I bought the washer from did not realise that her husband had the carpenters remove the door and the frame to get the washer in. So now we are waiting for the carpenters to come and remove it so we can get it out and then come and do the same to my bathroom so we can get it in. Needless to say, I had to wait until my husband got around to bringing the semi back in and reinstalling it. It took several days of staying up all night catching up on the laundry, before I finally cracked. This past wedsday, I looked around at the mess in my house, looked down at my exclusively nursing baby, who is teething and using me as his teething ring and I knew I needed help. I calleed a friend who told me that she had a great maid, but that her mom was coming to live with her and that I could take her maid after that. Two weeks was still a long time and out of desparation, I called a neighbor to see if she could send her houseboy over ( I hate that word). She said that he was not due back in her house for a few days, but she would tell him about me. I panicked, called my friend back whose maid I was waitng for and asked her to ask her maid if she knew anybody else. They called me back to say help was on the way in the form of an expensive (3x as much as my Indonesian maid, but it all evens out since I did not arrange their visas or pay an agent fee) Ethiopian maid. I  was so relieved, because my friend highly recommended her Ethiopian maid and I was hoping that her friend was just as good. Well the minute the woman walked in the door and I greeted her with a smile, salaams, and a handshake and she looked at me as if she were being forced to work…I knew it would not work. When she removed her abaya she had on a sheer gown. I asked her to change clothes and she said that that was all she had (she was staying for two weeks!), so I called a neighbor and got some nice dresses for her to wear. She wore one the next day, but later changed back into her gown. She removed two of my screen doors, because she said that they were not suppose to be inside (true they were not installed correctly…they should be outside…but either way it goes they keep the bugs and stray cats out!). I recently bought a toy organizer and she dismantles it, put it in the storage room and tucked away all my kids toys in the closet (most Saudi homes do not have toys and the homes are kept spotless…she was probably overwhelmed in my home just at the sight of all the toys). She never smiled, kept a stone face, and had little to no interaction with my family. Since, most people other than westerners, refuse to eat my food, I took her to the store to buy the food she likes. I told her how much we enjoyed Ethiopian food and that if she did not like my food we could all eat the food she eats. She claimed she didn’t know how to cook ANYTHING! I was like, not even enjirah?! Other than that, she was the best cleaner I’ve had. The first day, she was horrible, because like I said she didn’t want to be there, but once I brought up her cooking she decided to step up her cleaning and did a very thorugh job. Stuff that needed to be done that I never had time to do (like rolling up the carpets and removing all the furniture and completely HOSING down the floors. She pulled every single thing out of the kitchen and cleaned it from top to bottom) all of this without me asking. Honestly, you get what you pay for and she was expensive (compared to others). However, her attitude sucked. She never woke up on time and I would always wake her up after I had been up for hours and she would have the nerves to go back to sleep. It took three attempts to get her out of bed and she was always the first one to go to bed! Plus she took naps! So today, i woke her up at 7:45am because the carpenters were in the house to fix the screen doors that she removed and to come in the room that she was sleeping in because I want to enclose the balcony in that room. She had an attitude about that and took forever to put her clothes on and come out even though they were at the door and she had been told they were coming. I kindly told her that in the future ask me before she throws anything away or takes anything apart. She got upset and said that she was here to help me. I told her that i thought she meant well when she did this, but that she just needed to run it by me and not assume that it was ok(My husband is pissed that he can’t find his ear plugs and she has no idea what we are talking about but all I know it that she was cleaning the exact spot they were in….O and that fact that my husband sleeps with ear plugs speaks volumes! I wouldn’t dream of sleeping with ear plugs, I need to here everything …like my kids breathing!). So anyway, she got upset about me telling her that and said she wanted to go home and so I told her to go, but that my husband was at work and I would have to pay her later. She refused to leave my house before being paid, and I was not going to have her just lounging around all day with an attitude while i cleaned and cooked with a teething/nursing baby attached to me! My neighbor told her that she could wait in her house, but she still refused. After over an hour of her refusing to leave and my neighbor staying for intervention, I told her that if she did not get out of my house either, i would physically remove her or call the police. I felt bad for being like that, because i understand that she could not trust that i would pay her, but it is no way I was going to have her wait until 5pm with an attitude! Things would have got ugly because I would get madder and madder everytime I passed her or I would have to spendt he day avoiding her. Either way it went I did not want to be uncomfortable in my own home. She eventually left after, my friend said that she would give her maid the money and that I could pay her back.

So now I have spent the whole day trying to maintain the house. It’s not that bad, because now my daughter has Quran School in the morning and activities at the rec in the evening. However, the boys are with me all day and the time that the girls are in they make big messes. I still want the other maid, but now I’m not so sure if she is willing to come because her friend is mad at me! i really hate having live in maids, but until my kids are a little bit older I think I better use the help. the past three days i have spent more quality time with my kids than i have in the four months since we moved. Before, I was either putting them out of the room, because the baby was sleep, or telling them “not now” because I was cooking or cleaning. I’ve been much more relaxed because the house was clean and I feel better more peaceful in a clean house, which means that I’m not as grumpy and screaming at the kids over every little spill and mess they make. I think most of all I feel guilty when I get a maid, like it’s lazy. I mean I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t work. Isn’t it my job to take care of the house? I’ve tried and I’m neglecting myself and my kids big time. Mostly myself, because I don’t eat right or exercise, or even get a break. I keep telling myself to enjoy these years, their only young once. Yet, i can’t completely enjoy them if it seems like i’m constantly on the go (baby is so on que he just woke up now and is wailing for me…hold on while i pick him up and NAK).

Okay, I’m back but this (nursing at the keyboard) is uncomfortable and making my back hurt.  I’m gonna end it here and just wait for your comments. How do you moms do it? Notice how every summer and school break I go though this?